Online sites for generative play

Kim Flintoff
Queensland University of Technology and Edith Cowan University

This paper proposes an alternative concept for thinking about engagement in online environments as a form of 'generative play'. The notion of 'generative play' draws on existing forms of online role play (MMORPG, alternate reality games and persistent virtual worlds) and combines it with principles of process drama. The result is an emergent modality that reveals itself as a playful engagement that expects significant meaning-making without predetermined or prescribed content.

Using this model as a frame, we can consider new approaches to creating educational drama forms which can comfortably draw together varying degrees of online and offline engagement. The frame of 'generative play' can also accommodate the development of new performance paradigms that launch us into the world of networked performance.